International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks at press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 4, 2018. He said then that Calgary, Stockholm and a pair of Italian cities would be proposed as official candidates for approval to host
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks at press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 4, 2018. He said then that Calgary, Stockholm and a pair of Italian cities would be proposed as official candidates for approval to host

Calgary's Olympic assessment committee on Tuesday recommended the city scrap a bid for the 2026 Winter Games after a funding row with the Canadian government. 

A full vote of the city council on whether to officially take the western Canadian city, which hosted the Olympics in 1988, out of the running will be held Wednesday. 

The recommendation also seeks to cancel the Nov. 13 nonbinding plebiscite on whether to bid for the 2026 Olympics, with one council member saying it would be unfair to ask residents to vote without a funding agreement in place. 

Calgary's Olympic committee deliberated for nearly four hours on Tuesday following recent reports that the city and federal government were unable to agree in funding talks. 

"There is not a fiscally responsible plan without these funding agreements … the clock has run out and it's time to move on," Councilor Evan Woolley, the chair of the Olympic assessment committee, told Calgary City Council. 

Three candidates

The recommendation came three weeks after Calgary, Stockholm and an Italian bid involving Cortina D'Ampezzo and Milan officially became candidates for the 2026 Winter Games, their bids having been ratified by the International Olympic Committee. 

The bid committee has estimated the cost to host the games would be C$5.23 billion ($3.98 billion), with C$3 billion of that coming from the public purse. 

The federal government announced last Friday its intention to spend as much as C$1.75 billion ($1.33 billion) to host the Olympics. But that figure was in 2026 dollars, meaning the real amount is about $1.5 billion in 2018 dollars. 

To receive the full amount, however, the province and city would have to raise their combined spending to the equivalent of $1.5 billion in 2018 dollars. 

The Alberta government has pledged $700 million if the city hosts the games, meaning Calgary, which has said its share would not exceed that of the province's, would have to contribute $800 million to get the maximum federal contribution.